Homophobic Filipino Senator and pro boxer Manny Pacquiao has a new video game about him coming out later this month.
Real Boxing Manny Pacquiao by Vivid Games is scheduled to come out on Android and iOS on April 20. It’s the most recent installment of a mobile fighting series.
According to Mic, Real Boxing Manny Pacquiao will allow gamers to play as the titular character “in all modes,” with online tournaments and single-player games. The player will also be able to create a custom character with Pacquiao-branded boxing equipment.
Who Is Manny Pacquiao?
Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is a Filipino professional boxer-turned-politician. He’s currently serving as Senator of the Philippines.
He’s a phenomenal boxer, considered by many to be one of the greatest of all time. He’s the first eight-division world champion. He’s won eleven major world titles. He’s won in different weight classes.
But, unfortunately, he’s a huge homophobe and transphobe. And those factors put queer Filipinos in danger.
As a senator, Pacquiao argued against legislation meant to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination and violence. In the process, he expressed sympathy for a Joseph Scott Pemberton, a U.S. marine who brutally murdered a woman he’d had sex with after finding out she was trans. Pacquiao accused Pemberton’s victim of committing fraud by being trans, and added, “Even in the Bible, we can read that women should dress as women; and men should dress as men.”
Athletics and Ethics
Is it right for a video game company to pay such a loving tribute to a man who hurts the LGBTQ community? Should gamers shun Real Boxing? Or is this an instance of separating the artist from the art?
And it’s worth noting that a lot of professional athletes have done some terrible things, like spousal abuse, rape and even murder. Pacquiao is an awful queerphobe, but in an industry with so many damaged men, does he even stand out?
(Header image via Vivid Games)